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As Kenny Smith and Jeff Van Gundy are removed from the Rockets head coaching hunt, former Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has emerged as the frontrunner to land the job.
Mike D'Antoni has landed a second interview with the Houston Rockets for their coaching vacancy, according to league coaching sources.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 18, 2016
D’Antoni has been called up for a second interview and it appears as if the Rockets will most likely hire him. The offensive specialist made the “7 seconds or less offense” a thing during his Phoenix Suns days and that style is now being used in some form by many teams in the league. The Rockets who are loaded with offensive firepower, led by James Harden feel that the Italian legend would be a good fit with their roster. Via Houston Chronicle:
The Rockets view D’Antoni, the 76ers associate head coach, as one of the preeminent experts in the style of fast-paced, spread offense they prefer, but will consider the staff he will assemble as a major consideration.
The Rockets will look to add a coach that would run their defense, a major consideration to eventually choose D’Antoni.
Grizzlies assistant Jeff Bzdelik is among the coaches the Rockets would consider for that, but they have not interviewed Bzdelik or yet received permission from the Grizzlies to meet with him, a person with knowledge of the process said. Bzdelik will be considered for the Grizzlies head coaching position, according to the individual familiar with the process.
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey spent time with D’Antoni at the 2015 Sloan Conference in Boston, getting to know him for the first time, though then not with any idea that he would have a job open. D’Antoni also fits Rockets owner Leslie Alexander’s long-preferred style of offense.